This image encodes all that I hope for in Nova Scotia Faces. There's a mystery, a plausible story, a moment out of the lives of photographer and subject, and some sort of reflection of time and place.
and on the back there's this inscription:
Is there an answer? Could we learn the truth of Alice G's sad fate?
We can guess that the picture was taken somewhere on the Fundy coast, in one of perhaps half a dozen port towns, and it's probably sometime in the late 1920s or early 1930s.
Not much to go on.
...but a few years later, I ruminated:
Snapshots have tales to tell, though we can rarely know the truth in all its detail. Sometimes we have only fragments of testimony, thanks to an informant's evoked memories, or to notations on the photographs themselves. Is it remotely possible that we could discover what happened to Poor Alice G.? We have some information to work with: the locale is probably one of the harbors of Nova Scotia's Fundy Coast, and the date is probably sometime in the 1920s or 1930s. Alice G. is perhaps in her early to mid-20s. Would Annapolis Valley newspapers of the time have carried obituaries?I did a quick Google search for 'annapolis valley newspapers' and found the Annapolis Valley Newspaper Extracts Project, run as a labour of love by Phil Vogler.
I started looking through the 'Vital Statistics' there summarized, looking for possible conjunctions of fact, and sure enough...
How about THIS, from the Berwick Register:Turns out that the Berwick Register is no more, but Acadia University's Archives had a pretty complete run, and here's the result:
Grevatt, Alice Maud d/o Arthur Grevatt, died at Berwick, 26 June, 22 years. [30 June 1926 obit].
Bingo. And just by chance I'll be in the Annapolis Valley next week, and can go to visit the Berwick Register office and see the obit...
Grevatt, Elizabeth, w/o Arthur Grevatt, died at Berwick, 10 July 1914, 37 years.and notice of her father's remarriage, some months later:
Priestly, Ada, d/o Isaac Priestly, Barton, England, married at Halifax, 3 Feb 1915, to Arthur Grevatt, Berwick.The estimable Phil Vogler gives the text, from the Berwick Register:
February 10, 1915As it happens, I have a picture of the Ven. Archdeacon, from the 1923 Anglican Synod, gaiters and all:
Grevatt - Priestley
On Wednesday evening of last week, at St. Paul's Rectory, Spring Garden Road, Halifax, Miss Ada Priestley, of Barton, England, who had arrived by the Corsican the same day, was united in marriage to Mr. Arthur Grevatt, of Berwick. The ceremony was performed by the Ven. Archdeacon Armitage, Rector of St. Paul's. Mr. and Mrs. Grevatt arrived in Berwick on Thursday evening, having driven out from Kentville.